We Ride Titans #1 is written by Tres Dean, illustrated by Sebastian Piriz, colored by Dee Cunniffe, and lettered by Jim Campbell. It’s published by Vault Comics. In the distant future, humanity has built giant war machines known as Titans to combat invading kaiju. The city of New Hyperion has been under the protection of the Titan Defender Nexus for years, which is operated by Dwayne Hobbs and his family. However, when Dwayne’s son Dej is incapacitated in battle, his daughter Kit is drawn back into the fold, and in the process, the Hobbs’ family issues are brought into the light.
I love the mecha genre. From classics like Mobile Suit Gundam to recent entries like Home Sick Pilots and Mech Cadet Yu, the sight of a giant robot punching a huge monster will never fail to amaze me. However, the genre can also serve as a vessel for weightier themes, and We Ride Titans wears its themes on its sleeves. The weight of protecting mankind is shown to weigh on the Hobbs. As Kit has strived to live a life away from her family, Dej is struggling with alcoholism. Dean’s script grounds its premise in this humanity, which makes the scenes where Kit awkwardly reunites with her mother just as engaging as when Defender Nexus engages a kaiju in battle.
The standout of the issue, however, is Piriz’s art. I’ve seen Piriz’s take on multiple characters via his Twitter, and he proves to be just as adept at illustrating a full comic. The opening pages will immediately grab readers’ eyes, as a massive mountain of a kaiju engages in battle with Defender Nexus. Punches are thrown that shake the Earth, and Nexus fires a bright pink laser that eventually cuts the kaiju in half. Piriz’s skill extends to the Hobbs family, who all share the same short dark hair and light brown skin, but with different builds; Dej is taller and more muscular while Kit is more slender and feminine. And I can’t help but feel that Dwayne Hobbs is a dead ringer for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Rounding out the artistic team is Cunniffe on colors, who brings the same bright palette of color that he did to Crossover; hues of pink and blue permeate every page, except for the opening sequence, which has shades of orange and tan. And Campbell’s letters change based on volume; whispers are depicted as a light gray, while characters’ words are shaded a darker hue of black whenever they start shouting. Color is one of the most important elements of a comic, as it can draw attention to the art and words; this book is a prime example of how to utilize color properly.
We Ride Titans #1 puts a new spin on the mecha genre by exploring the cost of fighting monsters on a family, with plenty of giant robot action and family drama. If you’re a fan of the Fast and Furious films or Pacific Rim, this comic will be right up your alley. I can’t wait for the next issue.
We Ride Titans #1 will be available wherever comics are sold on Jan. 12, 2021.
We Ride Titans #1
We Ride Titans #1 puts a new spin on the mecha genre by exploring the cost of fighting monsters on a family, with plenty of giant robot action and family drama.
Collier “CJ” Jennings is a freelance reporter and film critic living in Seattle. He uses his love of comics and film/TV to craft reviews and essays on genre projects. He is also a host on Into the Spider-Cast.